Do you recognize this? In general, it's considered a pest.
However, to my sweet 5 year old little boy it is a wonderful caterpillar and they are his new "pets". Its real identity is an eastern tent caterpillar. They fall from the trees in mass this time of year here. Little J collected 9 caterpillars and put them in his Kritter Keeper along with some host tree leaves and twigs. We spritzed a little water on the leaves and closed the top. Soon they will form a cocoon and will be in them for about 3 weeks. They will emerge as a small reddish brown moth that we will release to finish their lives outside. We did this last year and it is an amazing process to watch.
You can find these Kritter Keepers for about $6 at local pet shops. We have a couple that Little J uses for catch and release. Usually it's some insect, lizard, or worm that he has found and would like to watch for a short bit.
We did some research on line this year and Little J has made a life cycle chart of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar. He has also put together a journal so he can log what is happening each day. Here is a link we found that tells more about them.